Saturday, July 03, 2004

12 Critical Success Factors for CSR

The EU's Multi Stakeholder Forum on CSR completed its 20-month mandate on 29 June 2004 after delivering its final Draft summary report and recommendations. This final report brings together the conclusions submitted by the individual round tables.
The four Round Tables identified 12 critical success factors for credible and effective CSR:
1. Commitment from key people – directors, owners, senior managers;
2. Ensuring that the values and vision of the CSR approach are integrated into the business and its culture;
3. Integrating the CSR approach and any associated practices and tools, with the C. strategy, core business, mainstream management processes and policies, and
everyday operational practice. This might mean adapting existing systems, or adopting or developing new ones;
4. Setting appropriate goals or targets, related to the core business, developing a staged plan for achieving them (including some quick wins), evaluating progress towards them, and communicating this appropriately;
5. Communicating about the approach, strategy, aims or activities in a transparent and meaningful way. Such communication is also a way of helping to magnify the benefits associated with drivers of CSR practice, for example through aiding learning and innovation, as well as building credibility and helping to improve relationships with stakeholders.
6. Openness to learning, improvement and innovation;
7. Engagement with external stakeholders - including local stakeholders in non-EU countries – understanding their views and expectations, being open to learning from them, communicating well with them about issues, goals and progress, being open about areas of agreement and disagreement and thus building a trusting relationship, where the company and its stakeholders are willing to co-operate in good faith in efforts to achieve its CSR goals, including to the extent of working in partnership together;
8. Involving employees and their representatives in developing and implementing CSR, programmes, activities and initiatives;
9. Sharing experience, learning from and with peers, in sectoral and multi-stakeholder initiatives or through networks, good practice examples, initiatives and benchmarking, and being willing to solve problems, innovate and improve as a result of this learning;
10. The availability of easily accessible and specific advice, and appropriate, effective and credible tools and initiatives which the company can learn from when developing its own approach, use, or join in with, which are suitable to its circumstances or are flexible enough to be enable the company to learn over time, innovate and respond to circumstances.
11. Particularly for developing countries, the existence of an appropriate legal environment which reinforces compliance with fundamental standards, and the presence of strong civil society organisations such as trade unions and NGOs as stakeholders and potential partners;
12. A high level of awareness among consumers and investors, of the issues and companies’ options in responding to them. Full Final EU CSR Forum Report
If there are no less then 12 CSF's for achieving credible and effective CSR, it's probably going to take a while :))